tv [untitled] September 20, 2010 9:00am-9:30am PST
mirkarimi and supervisor elsbernd. are there any announcements? >> yes, please turn off all cellphone and pagers. please submit an extra copy for the file if you wish to submit to the committee. please use the speaker cards in front of you to the rail on your left. supervisor chiu: please call item no. 1. >> item number one, hearing to review the city's provision and coordination of services to victims of crime, to: (1) what support and services do city departments currently provide crime victims?; (2) how do various departments that interface with crime victims coordinate their activities?; (3) what are the gaps in the system that need to address, and what coordination needs to occur?; and (4) how can victim services be best provided in a culturally competent manner?
supervisor chiu: thank you. colleagues, this is an item i have asked for the committee to consider, along with supervisor maxwell, stemming from my experience as a criminal prosecutor years ago. highly publicized incidents in the southeast part of the city, my office worked with a number of crime victims and we heard many stories that pointed to shortcomings and gaps in how our city held to address crime victims'. i have asked a number of city apartments to meet with my office and through that meeting we have realized that there continue to be significant shortcomings of the system. for 30 seconds let me highlight some of the themes that we heard. i think that it is obvious that in tough budget times we often
lack of direct services that ideally as a city we could offer. just as important, there are many instances in lack of coordination, lack of single points of entry for victims that are eligible for services. the lack of the ability within the city to track cases involving victims and a duplication of resources. a lack of any 24-7 capability to respond to providing information for crime victims. the lack of a single coordinating body within the city that can help to address these issues. it was apparent that as a city we were still trying to provide services in a culturally competent way. particularly evident in recent
months as continued stories from crime victims who not only had crimes committed against them in recent months, but frankly in recent years have come to light. i have asked a couple of the city departments involved in that conversation, not all of them, but some of them, to engage in a conversation on this. " i would like to ask each representative to make a presentation on two topics. first of all, which services are currently being provided to victims of crime? what kind of gets to you see in those services and what can we do as a city to address them? a lesson in what has initial comments, i would like to invite the district attorney's office. if you could, make a presentation and start the conversation, it would be appreciated. >> good morning.
i believe that you were provided with a presentation on friday. do i have to do something to make this? i am the chief of the victims' services division in the san francisco district attorney's office. to give you an overview of the services that we provide, our mandate is to prosecute crimes within the city of san francisco and provide services to victims of crimes. our office serves all the tombs of crime, regardless of prosecution. if the victim was a victim of a robbery but they are never prosecuted, we would treat them just like someone who's
perpetrator had been apprehended. there is child related support, also helping victims get their life back together, and the last is emotional and mental health support. in terms of court related support, we have in our office victim language where they can sit to wait for their cases in court. they can meet with the advocates assigned to the case and if no one is charged they can receive for their services. because of the services is an integral part of the victims attorney office, and decatur's aren't important part of the team and they have access to all criminal prosecution and are able to give victims case status information. they're able to explain to the victims what they can expect when they get into the system, what a court appearance is like,
the lawyers, the rules, etc. -taking away the anxiety that they feel. we can also help them to get a temporary restraining order. in many cases the victim is known to the defendant and knows where the victim lives. we have an on-site clinic where a lawyer comes in to meet with victims. we also have a close working relationship with a called wofford of restraining order clinic. they will meet with victims and actually offer them legal advice and services during the appearance. in terms of getting the victim's life together, we help with claims boards that offer a murieta benefits to victims. we have staff within the office
that runs with the state program to give the victims of bates, helping victims to relocate and providing them with support. helping with creditors, if their credit report is hurt by a crime they can interface with those people to help them explain what is happening. we can help them notify families and friends if they feel comfortable doing that. in terms of emotional and mental health, halthe people will comeo the waiting area directly after crimes occur. advocates are there to help stabilize. helping them with resources.
if we also have a therapist list so that people can divide by language capabilities in crime type, so that victims can meet with therapists who specialize. much of our work is done through collaboration in our partnership is critical to the work that we do. we work with city based and community-based agencies, enabling us to give the victim of the support that they need. we also have partnerships around specific types of crimes. and we also have relationships for robberies and burglaries, more generic types of crimes. so, i would like to talk about
homicide, domestic violence, and of the partnership that we have there. in terms of our homicide response, we work closely with critical incident response teams in the department of public health. going directly to crime scenes, they are the ones on the streets and we have a close working relationship with them. they will literally bring victims to our office or lounge and sit down with advocates. in that way they are supported from the time of the crime to the time they arrived in the criminal justice system. we work with homicide units and in turn we will go to the unit if the victim's family has questions about the inspection. we work with the community
response network, the team on the street working with youth. the wraparound project cross references clients with trauma recovery with workshops for families of homicide victims. in terms of elder abuse, we have the elder abuse forensics center and we work closely with that entire team, which involves the institute on aging, the police department, and [unintelligible] who works with the elder domestic violence, held for the elderly, faithful in the public guardianship, allowing us to provide older victims with the support that they need from housing to food. in terms of domestic violence, we have a close relationship with the community and the
criminal-justice system. we have a close relationship with all three shelters in the city. we also work with asian-pacific islander out reach in terms of restraining orders and family law matters. we also work with hot lines for domestic violence victims and other services. to give you a sense of how many victims we see each year, last year in 2009 we had over 16,000 contacts with victims. meaning that the contact services that we provided, each time we took someone to court or performed crisis intervention or helped them relocate -- supervisor mirkarimsupervisor et
unique victims or multiple contacts with one victim? >> it can be either. we never take victims out of the system. also in 2009 we served 4477 victims and witnesses, you can see the breakdown of the majority of crimes there. as you can see, most of them are fault cases followed by domestic violence. in 2008-2009, victims received almost $4 million. as i indicated, we have staff that helps them to fill out the indicate -- applications for analysis and processing. in terms of cultural competency,
we have the language that you see on the overhead. those are languages that are spoken by the whole of the district attorney's office. we have advocates that can speak to them. in addition we have a language line permitting us to talk to victims in any language. in terms of cultural competency, advocates are trained periodically so that they can relate to different cultures. the final scream is simply contact -- the final screening isn't the contact information. >> i know that the district
attorney's office does a lot with crimes being actively prosecuted, but what happens to crime victims in terms of police reports being filed or if they, themselves, had not reported crimes to the police because no one was cart -- the system was not working for them. i know that your office is able to help those victims if they get to you, but how do they get to you in the first place? is there out reached to let them know that your office can help? >> in the first category, where a crime has occurred and a court opinion has been filed, typically get many report from police department. in serious cases, robberies and things of that nature, we reach out directly and we will call them. in cases where it has not been
filed is tougher to reach those victims. we do extensive outreach in the community. we work with the partners that i talked about earlier. so that they can reach their population, bringing presentation about the services they offer. we tried to do that in under- served populations. mono-lingual populations, asian, spanish, russian, all of those communities are the ones that we target. we do do a lot about reach. that is a tougher situation if they have not filed a police report and they do not feel comfortable coming to the hall of justice. supervisor chiu: certainly what we heard earlier this year from certain immigrant populations is
that that is a significant trend and there are more challenges in the city in terms of being able to follow up with that. in terms of how many contacts you have had in the victim's you have served, do you know how many are committed every year? >> i do not know that. supervisor chiu: i would love to get that from some of the crime reporting tracked by the fbi or the police department. one thing that was interesting in these conversations was i know that the police department provides a marcy card, but there is no information in the information that the police department provides about your office and what you are providing and i wonder what kind
of marketing coordination is there with the police department or other agencies. >> i know that police officers at the scene handout victim coordination cards and many that come to our office have received those notifications. after the meeting from a couple of months ago in your office, we came up with some ideas on closing the gap. victims services is open from 7 to 5. we were hoping that the victim line will over for the presentation to the their familiar with services that we offer and we would have some sort of ku or computer device
that would allow advocates to check in. supervisor chiu: deal happen to know, looking at your numbers, the number of victims by neighborhood or type of crime? >> we can pull up the information in terms of ethnicity, gender, and i think that we can do neighborhood. we do have those demographics at our office. supervisor chiu: that would be great. colleagues? supervisor mirkarimi: when is a case resolved? in terms of victims services, when do they seem to be satisfied? is there payout for compensation? or will the victim's family basically say -- i just do not
need any more. what is the assembly line process? >> that is on the victim or their family. typically we say that the case that iran's. the prosecution might be over or maybe there was no prosecution at all, but we have had victims come back years later, perhaps because they were victimized again. we are always there for them and we have a system with the advocates keep notes of their context of the service provided so that the victim comes back where left off. supervisor mirkarimi: does that include psychological services in terms of facilitating the connection to the victim or the family of the victim? >> yes. the victim compensation program has certain limits. if they exhaust that amount, they will not get any monetary
benefits under the program. obviously, under our office that we are always available to them. if not the would not be able to get the services paid for. but they are allowed to come to the trauma center. so, we can still have the resources available. supervisor mirkarimi: is their delineation in terms of how much is provided based on how much is lost related to the crime? in terms of what she said, 70,000 dollars, i have not heard it actual figures if they are assigned to the type of crime, if there's a certain she'd, it has not been shared with us. >> it is not broken down by type of crime, rather by service. children typically receive
$5,000 in there before witnessing violence. once they get to the limit, they are not entitled to more therapy. the same is true for relocation. it is kind of broken down by benefit. supervisor chiusupervisor mirkat possible to get that information in terms of a breakdown of the limitations or maximums on how much one might be entitled to? that would be helpful. this is not simply need to san francisco, there are frustrated families with a violent crime, family members who may have been killed and are coming to the board of supervisors in other forums who are looking for
additional assistance and help, bereft of where they go from here they have had some very resourceful family members go to the mayor or other leaders to look for extra help. what happens, at that point, when you have a victim's family that is really at the end point? what do we do with the service arena? is there nothing available to help these folks? >> it depends on the family or case involved. we have seen this all the time as we all those cases. we get calls from the mayor's office asking us about cases. we have offered them services.
for a number of reasons that might not be satisfied. like i said earlier, often we come in and are in a state of shock. they to be frustrated with victim compensation programs and guidelines because they may not be eligible. what we typically do, if it gets to you wall or the mayor's office, we reiterate. oftentimes there is and there is not. i have no pat answer except that we are often they're for the victims. supervisor mirkarimi: thank you. supervisor chiu: are there any other questions?
i would like to ask -- we have a representative from the san francisco police department? i would like to congratulate you, your recently appointed, i know. a couple of things that i would be interested in, what type of training does the police department provide rank-and-file officers in terms of working with victims? what kind of coordination to you have with other agencies on this? >> i will speak to both of those items. i am from the police department investigation division and this morning i will provide you with a brief overview of the services provided to victims of crime. the san francisco police department currently provides a variety of resources and the context in which we provide services is related to our mission to protect the public. the department utilizes many
resources and make referrals to outside departments and other agencies on a daily basis. each unit makes referrals on a case by say -- case by case basis, depending on the need or type of crime investigated. an example of the referrals and resources available to the public, talking about the victim's bill of rights when completing crime reports, every officer has available to them the distributed following inappropriate. that is actually the form that talks about the victims' assistance program, domestic abuse situation